I always cringe a little bit when people use the word “season” when talking about Christmas. It never seems like quite the right word to describe the month of December.
The word season implies that while there is a time appointed for something to be appropriate, there is also a time for the same characteristics to be inappropriate. For example, the season autumn includes bright orange, yellow, and red leaves, cooling temperatures, and football. The rest of the year does not and should not include those indications of that season.
When combining the word season with any of the so-called Christmas seasons (the season of giving, the season of love, the season of good will toward men), it likewise suggests that although during December it is appropriate to be more giving, more loving, and to think more about Christ, the rest of the year these things are unnecessary because they are out of season.
Great things have been done by good people during Christmas time. Nevertheless, I feel the greatest acts of kindness are those seemingly insignificant good deeds that are performed on a daily basis not because it is “in season”, but because these people maintain the true spirit of Christmas in their hearts year-round. Man should need no season to be helpful, caring, and generous. Man need not wait around for the right season to be forgiving, humble, and patient.
But please excuse my cyncism, for when it all boils down I need Christmas. I need to be reminded of Christ, for far too easily do I forget to think about His birth, His life, His atoning sacrifice, and His resurrection. Although I require several seasons to remember Him, He does not need a season to remember me. He knows my name and He loves me notwithstanding my imperfections.
The most beautiful thing about Christ’s Atonement is that it does not apply to just one season. It was not simply an event that occurred over the space of several hours and then was over. The Atonement is not seasonal; it is eternal. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ a power was released on earth and in heaven that is more powerful than even time. This power is what made it possible for Christ to experience the pain and sorrow of every human that ever had and ever would live on the earth. Christ’s Atonement is a constant and ongoing act even today.
Before my birth, the Atonement granted me the freedom to choose how I would live. Although a sad concept, the Atonement allows me to be as imperfect as I desire. From the day I was born until the day I die, the Atonement of Christ has and will uphold me and sustain me even during the darkest of days. And then after I die His Atonement will make it possible for me to overcome the overwhelming debt of sin I have will have accumulated throughout my life. The Atonement encompasses every stage and season of my existence.
In Ecclesiastes chapter 3 it says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” It then outlines all of the earthly seasons and times to which we as humans are subject to. Then in verse 14 it says, “…whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it…” The works of God and of Christ are not seasonal. They roll on continually, and nothing we as humans do could possibly add to or take away from Their glory. In our world of inconsistency and change, the power of God and the Atonement of Christ will always be a constant no matter what the season.